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    (Original post by Mark85)
    IMO, you are best off shunning A level specific material since they all seem to focus too much on answering questions of a specific form and not enough on actually learning anything.

    If you are interested in physics, try to find some mathematically orientated physics books and if they don't go into the maths thoroughly enough, find another book that explains it. I would just have fun with it and don't try to tick off a big checklist of subjects that you can answer a few questions in but ultimately won't understand. Go for quality and interest over quantity - let your interest guide you. The library and internet are your friends here. Without wanting to brag - this is what I have done for the last several years and I would be willing to wager that I could take the final year exams for most maths degrees at UK universities tomorrow and get at least a 2:2 and my highest formal qualification is a GCSE. I think my learning has been more efficient than a lot of peoples because I focus on interesting myself and trying to understand rather than learning to solve specific types of questions for the sake of it. Ironically, the former approach actually sets you up better for learning how to solve exam type questions (or at least the ones I have seen online).
    Thanks for the advice, I completely understand what you mean. I was thinking to start initially with c1-2, just because it will at least give me basic grounding in core skills to go and delve deeper into anything that piques my interest. I may very well do what has been suggested here, and try and focus more specifically on calc/trig and try and do some more advanced algebra/complex numbers/matrices.

    The problem is I don't know what I need to learn before I can go further with these topics, for those of you who know the a levels well, are there are parts of c1-4 or fp1-3 that really would not be relevant for someone studying physics, or could be missed entirely without it affecting the ability to cover the rest of the syllabus? That's the main reason I'm going through the whole syllabus at the moment, I have no idea what builds upon what etc.

    And is there any consensus on whether it would be better for me to follow the a level syllabus or focus specifically on things like trig/calc etc?
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Updated: March 12, 2013
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